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Old 12-15-2015, 06:25 PM
Status: "edgy. .." (set 2 days ago)
 
Location: The New England part of Ohio
20,330 posts, read 25,416,142 times
Reputation: 54398

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Quote:
Originally Posted by GraniteStater View Post
Neighborhoods in the Upper Midwest tend to be nicer overall for a bit more in price because they tend to incorporate the tree lawn adjacent to the sidewalk which greatly enhances the value of properties, even in less upscale areas. In the Lower Midwest and South you can buy houses for cheaper but the overall quality "neighborhood" feel is less as the tree lawn is quite a bit less common and there tends to be less conformity overall (generalization but generally true).

True. I live in a "Leave It to Beaver" style neighborhood. Stately homes with sidewalks and the tree lawn feature. We also have a "Green Way" in the middle of our street. Flowering trees, maples that turn wonderful colors in the Fall.

My subdivision of homes built in the teens through the 30s, of the last century, are in a "Garden City" style community.

Really guys, you get the most for your money in the Midwest. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Garden_city_movement
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Old 12-15-2015, 08:59 PM
 
Location: Midwest
121 posts, read 163,749 times
Reputation: 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by maniac77 View Post
I will concur that Iowa is a great state to live for poor people. I'm one of them. I rent a studio in West Des Moines and can afford to live here alone. I certainly wouldn't be able to do that in Providence or Boston. It's definitely a struggle as a low-wage earner, but I get by and don't have to deal with annoying roommates.

It's important to note that the apartment you found on Craigslist for $310 a month in the Des Moines metro is atypical, and most apartments in the metro area are $500 and up and about twice the size. This seems like a hotel room.
Thanks for all the replies here. I either posted a good topic header or there is a lot of activity in this section. This is the thread that brought me here. It's a really good read. I've also considered Las Vegas because that is cheap as well. But the job problem there hasn't been fixed yet. Iowa has a 3.8% percent unemployment rate which is really good.

Although I'm self-employed, I would still like to go somewhere that has a healthy economy especially for lower-wage workers. I've looked into moving to Las Vegas, too, but they have a unhealthy economy and that scares me. Another option is Alabama... Mobile, Alabama in particular caught my interest. Yes, I'm all over the place right now. I really could end up anywhere. I would like to go somewhere and save up a lot of money and then move to CA where I would want to study. Is it possible to find a job decent enough in Des Moines without a degree or specialty where I could afford the same kind of apartment you have? This is of course if everything were to go bad for me with the work I do now.
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Old 12-15-2015, 09:20 PM
 
Location: Midwest
121 posts, read 163,749 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by InchingWest View Post

Good luck OP. I also understand that Rhode Island has some of the worst unemployment in the country, the lowest wage growth, high rates of drug use, a surprising amount of violence, traffic congestion, and is all around a difficult place for young people to prosper. Let me know if I'm on the ball about any of those. Always nice to hear 1st hand accounts.
Thank you. Yes, there were a lot of news stories about deaths related to drug overdoses. I know there is a problem here as we score pretty high in that area. There were a lot of heroin ovedoses in Vermont, too. So it's not just here. Crime... it's mostly concentrated in the Greater Providence area. It's mostly petty crime, though. It's high only because we're a small state. Yes, it's very hard for a young person here. I never had much luck. I should've moved out of here years ago. I'm now in my 30s and it isn't any easier. Traffic congestion, well, for such a small city it does get clogged pretty bad in Providence during the rush hour. But I haven't lived in other cities so I don't have much to compare it to. I've lived here all my life.
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Old 12-15-2015, 10:15 PM
 
Location: Warren, OH
2,747 posts, read 3,582,874 times
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The Midwest is coming back. - read this - The Midwest: Coming Back? | Newgeography.com
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Old 12-15-2015, 10:35 PM
Status: "Trump - excepting Jorgensen, the least of multiple evils" (set 14 days ago)
 
Location: Nescopeck, Penna. (birthplace)
13,804 posts, read 8,479,922 times
Reputation: 17880
There are probably areas of Nebraska and Kansas where one could rent (or own) for even less; not a bad deal at all for someone trying to stretch a "fixed" income, and even more so if some form of employment, however trivial, is readily available.

The downside is that so many of us, especially the young, have been conditioned to follow the "trend-setters", or simply to expect too much by the mass media. Tedium leads to "experimentation" or testing of the societal limitations. That often translates into drug (ab)use, and explains why methedrine is the scourge of predominately-white, semi-rural America.

Somebody said it best about 45 years ago:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AtP5sz-IaLQ
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Old 12-16-2015, 08:39 AM
 
Location: Des Moines, Iowa
2,401 posts, read 3,849,492 times
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This was posted in the Des Moines thread, but putting it here in case OP missed it:

Renters Are Mostly Screwed, But Here
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Old 12-16-2015, 11:28 AM
Status: "edgy. .." (set 2 days ago)
 
Location: The New England part of Ohio
20,330 posts, read 25,416,142 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2nd trick op View Post
There are probably areas of Nebraska and Kansas where one could rent (or own) for even less; not a bad deal at all for someone trying to stretch a "fixed" income, and even more so if some form of employment, however trivial, is readily available.

The downside is that so many of us, especially the young, have been conditioned to follow the "trend-setters", or simply to expect too much by the mass media. Tedium leads to "experimentation" or testing of the societal limitations. That often translates into drug (ab)use, and explains why methedrine is the scourge of predominately-white, semi-rural America.

Somebody said it best about 45 years ago:


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AtP5sz-IaLQ
Nebraska and Kansas are different from Iowa and Ohio.

Both Ohio and Iowa are well educated states that have pretty, New England-esque villages, pretty neighborhoods with stately homes, well established colleges and universities.

Iowa has Grinell, Cornell College, Luther, Drake and University of Iowa. Here in Ohio, we have Ohio State, Oberlin, College of Wooster, and Ohio Wesleyan, among others.

Nebraska and Kansas are different, demographically and visually.

I know people who live and are prom Kansas, for example. They tell me that it has more like Oklahoma and Texas and that there is a great deal of Fundamentalist religion, which would make Kansas seem very unfamiliar to anyone from the North East.

Ohio's topography is less flat than the other states mentioned. I visited Iowa last year for Nordic Fest,

We were invited by a college friend, who I met over 20 years ago while attending college in Massachusetts. We had the opportunity to meet many of her friends.
They are all cultured, well educated and friendly.

Crystal meth does not appear to be a problem of any great significance. Nor does boredom. Anymore than it might be in rural PA, upstate NY, or rural NH or Vermont.
Key word - RURAL.

ETA - Nordic Fest was awesome!
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Old 12-16-2015, 12:43 PM
 
1,213 posts, read 1,150,623 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pystachio View Post
Thanks for all the replies here. I either posted a good topic header or there is a lot of activity in this section. This is the thread that brought me here. It's a really good read. I've also considered Las Vegas because that is cheap as well. But the job problem there hasn't been fixed yet. Iowa has a 3.8% percent unemployment rate which is really good.

Although I'm self-employed, I would still like to go somewhere that has a healthy economy especially for lower-wage workers. I've looked into moving to Las Vegas, too, but they have a unhealthy economy and that scares me. Another option is Alabama... Mobile, Alabama in particular caught my interest. Yes, I'm all over the place right now. I really could end up anywhere. I would like to go somewhere and save up a lot of money and then move to CA where I would want to study. Is it possible to find a job decent enough in Des Moines without a degree or specialty where I could afford the same kind of apartment you have? This is of course if everything were to go bad for me with the work I do now.
Thanks for posting the link to the "Best city for poor people to live?" thread. It was an interesting read. I can tell you that there are a plethora of job opportunities in the Des Moines metro (can't speak for all of Iowa) for both unskilled and skilled workers. No one I know who wants a job has trouble finding one except for a couple of convicted felons, and I get the sense that job growth here will continue in the future. It's definitely a good place to be from an economy standpoint.

Des Moines is primarily a white-collar city and a hub for the insurance industry. Most of those jobs require degrees and pay pretty well. Those relatively decent salaries coupled with a relative low cost of living is why Des Moines is getting a lot of accolades for being a great place to live right now. Many people here can enjoy a higher quality of life and actually save and not feel the financial burden as harshly as other people do elsewhere.

However, there is still poverty in Des Moines, and as far as low-wage earners such as myself go, it's a struggle everywhere. My rent is only $530 a month (that's even cheap by Des Moines standards), and I barely scrape by most months since I choose to live alone. I also don't have a car, so my transportation costs are next to nothing. I could definitely budget a little better, but when you factor in food, internet, utilities, and various insurance, etc. it really adds up. I'm also eligible for food stamps, but I choose not to use them. My food budget is higher than it should be, but not outrageous.

To answer your question, yes, it's possible to live alone on low wages here, but I think it would either take sacrifices or a massive amount of overtime. IMO a job at $11 an hour at 30 hours a week would be the bare minimum needed to live alone in an apartment in the Des Moines area. Minimum wage is $7.25 here, so I wouldn't even try to live on 1 minimum wage job here unless you're getting copious amounts of overtime. A roommate or 2 would definitely make living here more comfortable just like anywhere else for a low-wage earner. But, yes, at least it's possible in the Des Moines area for a frugal person who is willing to make sacrifices and/or is on government assistance to live alone here.

If your goal is to save, OP, that won't happen making low wages-even in Iowa. But if the work you do now is lucrative and can be a source of good income here, your money will go far here in comparison to Providence.

FYI, as discussed upthread, it's believed that the place you found on craigslist is an extended stay motel and that rate is weekly. I don't know of any place in the Des Moines area where you can rent a place for around $300 a month, at least without housing assistance.

Last edited by maniac77; 12-16-2015 at 01:11 PM..
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Old 12-18-2015, 11:06 AM
 
Location: The Windy City
5,318 posts, read 3,817,614 times
Reputation: 4631
I almost considered University of Iowa for graduate school, but found the housing to be overly expensive for the area. A crappy 1br apartment with barely any space was around $700. I was paying that on the east coast for a 2br.
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Old 12-18-2015, 11:59 AM
 
Location: Des Moines, Iowa
2,401 posts, read 3,849,492 times
Reputation: 1449
Quote:
Originally Posted by lepoisson View Post
I almost considered University of Iowa for graduate school, but found the housing to be overly expensive for the area. A crappy 1br apartment with barely any space was around $700. I was paying that on the east coast for a 2br.
OK...but you're talking about a college/university town (city).

That's an entirely different set of rules given the unique dynamic that having tens of thousands of students factored into your population of your city (especially a modest sized city) of those looking/needing rental units.
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